Slavery Advertisements Published March 26, 1770

The Slavery Adverts 250 Project chronicles the role of newspaper advertising in perpetuating slavery in the era of the American Revolution. The project seeks to reveal the ubiquity of slavery in eighteenth-century life from New England to Georgia by republishing advertisements for slaves – for sale, wanted to purchase, runaways, captured fugitives – in daily digests on this site as well as in real time via the @SlaveAdverts250 Twitter feed, utilizing twenty-first-century media to stand in for the print media of the eighteenth century.

The project aims to provide modern audiences with a sense of just how often colonists encountered these advertisements in their daily lives. Enslaved men, women, and children appeared in print somewhere in the colonies almost every single day. Those advertisements served as a constant backdrop for social, cultural, economic, and political life in colonial and revolutionary America. Colonists who did not own slaves were still confronted with slavery as well as invited to maintain the system by purchasing slaves or assisting in the capture of runaways. The frequency of these newspaper advertisements suggests just how embedded slavery was in colonial and revolutionary American culture in everyday interactions beyond the printed page.

These advertisements also testify to the experiences of enslaved men, women, and children, though readers must consider that those experiences have been remediated through descriptions offered by slaveholders rather than the slaves themselves. Often unnamed in the advertisements, enslaved men, women, and children were not invisible or unimportant in early America.

These advertisements appeared in colonial American newspapers 250 years ago today.

Mar 26 1770 - New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury Slavery 1
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (March 26, 1770).

**********

Mar 26 1770 - New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury Slavery 2
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (March 26, 1770).

**********

Mar 26 1770 - New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury Slavery 3
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (March 26, 1770).

**********

Mar 26 1770 - New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury Slavery 4
New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (March 26, 1770).

**********

Mar 26 1770 - New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury Supplement Slavery 1
Supplement to the New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (March 26, 1770).

**********

Mar 26 1770 - New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury Supplement Slavery 2
Supplement to the New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (March 26, 1770).

**********

Mar 26 1770 - New-York Gazette or Weekly Post-Boy Slavery 1
New-York Gazette or Weekly Post-Boy (March 26, 1770).

**********

Mar 26 1770 - New-York Gazette or Weekly Post-Boy Slavery 2
New-York Gazette or Weekly Post-Boy (March 26, 1770).

**********

Mar 26 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 1
South-Carolina and American. General Gazette (March 26, 1770).

**********

Mar 26 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 2
South-Carolina and American. General Gazette (March 26, 1770).

**********

Mar 26 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 3
South-Carolina and American. General Gazette (March 26, 1770).

**********

Mar 26 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 4
South-Carolina and American. General Gazette (March 26, 1770).

**********

Mar 26 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 5
South-Carolina and American. General Gazette (March 26, 1770).

**********

Mar 26 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 6
South-Carolina and American. General Gazette (March 26, 1770).

**********

Mar 26 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 7
South-Carolina and American. General Gazette (March 26, 1770).

**********

Mar 26 1770 - South-Carolina and American General Gazette Slavery 8
South-Carolina and American. General Gazette (March 26, 1770).

March 25

What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago this week?

Mar 25 - 3:23:1770 Massachusaetts Gazette Extraordinary
Massachusetts-Gazette Extraordinary (March 23, 1770).

“A second-hand Coach, a Variety of second-hand Chaises.”

Adino Paddock, a coachmaker, occasionally advertised in Boston’s newspapers in the late 1760s and early 1770s.  He took to the pages of the public prints to promote his business with an advertisement in an extraordinary issue of the Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter on March 23, 1770.  In it, he proclaimed that “the Coach-making Business in all its Branches is carried on as usual” at his shop “in Common-Street.”

Paddock also extended one of his “usual” appeals to potential customers, informing them that he offered for a sale “a second-hand Coach” and “a Variety of second-hand Chaises.”  He incorporated used carriages of all sorts into most of his marketing, presenting consumers a less expensive alternative to purchasing new coaches and chaises.  As many of his other advertisements made clear, he acquired secondhand carriages by accepting them as partial payment when customers placed orders.  Paddock deployed what would later become familiar marketing and financing strategies in the automobile industry in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  He did so in the early modern era, more than a century before cars were mass produced and sold to consumers.  He anticipated some now-standard strategies for selling transportation to individual customers.

Paddock also made a “Buy American” appeal, though much less explicitly.  The elite who could afford carriages did not have to purchase coaches and chaises imported from England when they could instead acquire the same items made at his shop in Boston.  Furthermore, he sold ancillary goods, including “Worsted Reins,” made locally rather than imported.  Paddock did not name his supplier, but he assured prospective customers that the reins he sold were “made in Town.”  While he did little to underscore the point, it likely would have reverberated all the same considering how much attention residents of Boston and beyond devoted to the nonimportation agreements then in effect to protest duties on imported paper, glass, lead, paint, and tea.  Coverage extended across news items, editorials, and even advertisements.

Consisting solely of text without images, Paddock’s advertisement for carriages is not nowhere near as flashy as print advertisements for automobiles from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries nor, especially, modern television and internet advertisements.  Comparatively humble in appearance, Paddock’s advertisement did, however, pioneer some of the marketing techniques that later became standard practices in the automobile industry.

March 24

What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?

Mar 24 - 3:24:1770 Providence Gazette
Providence Gazette (March 24, 1770).

(23).”

A brief advertisement in the March 24, 1770, edition of the Providence Gazette announced, “GARDEN PEASE.  The very best Early Garden Pease to be sold at the GOLDEN EAGLE. (23).”  Consisting primarily of information for consumers, this advertisement also featured a notation intended solely for the printer, compositor, and others who labored in John Carter’s “PRINTING-OFFICE, the Sign of Shakespeare’s Head.”  The “(23)” at the far right of the final line corresponded to the issue number in which the advertisement first ran, “NUMB. 323” on March 17.  Other advertisements included similar notations to the far right on the final line.  Robert Nesbitt’s advertisement for a variety of textiles ended with “(22).”  James Lovett’s advertisement for bread and flour concluded with “(20).”  Another advertisement offering a “Likely, healthy, smart NEGROE BOY” for sale also featured “(20)” on the final line.  The issue numbers presumably aided with bookkeeping and alerted compositors when to remove advertisements that had appeared for a specified number of weeks.

Not all advertisements, however, included issue numbers, suggesting that the system was more complicated than simply signaling whether a notice should continue publication.  Carter’s own advertisement for printed blanks did not feature an issue number, but that was because the printer could insert notices promoting various aspects of his business at his own discretion.  In another notice that lacked an issue number, Stephen Hopkins, John Brown, and John Jenckes called on local “Gentlemen … to become Benefactors” of the college being built in the town.  Perhaps it did not carry an issue number because Carter was not concerned about when it commenced or how many times it appeared in the Providence Gazette.  Perhaps his contribution consisted of running the fundraising advertisement gratis in his newspaper for as long as the committee desired.  Other advertisements, including two for real estate and one about runaway indentured servants, also did not have issue numbers on the final line.  The advertisers may not have contracted for a certain number of weeks but instead determined for them to run until they achieved their purpose.

The issue numbers that appeared in some, but not all, advertisements in the Providence Gazette (and other eighteenth-century newspapers) hint at the day-to-day operations in colonial printing offices, but they raise as many questions as they answer.  They suggest that printers, compositors, and others followed a system for organizing and keeping track of advertisements, but they do not reveal all of the particulars.

Slavery Advertisements Published March 24, 1770

The Slavery Adverts 250 Project chronicles the role of newspaper advertising in perpetuating slavery in the era of the American Revolution. The project seeks to reveal the ubiquity of slavery in eighteenth-century life from New England to Georgia by republishing advertisements for slaves – for sale, wanted to purchase, runaways, captured fugitives – in daily digests on this site as well as in real time via the @SlaveAdverts250 Twitter feed, utilizing twenty-first-century media to stand in for the print media of the eighteenth century.

The project aims to provide modern audiences with a sense of just how often colonists encountered these advertisements in their daily lives. Enslaved men, women, and children appeared in print somewhere in the colonies almost every single day. Those advertisements served as a constant backdrop for social, cultural, economic, and political life in colonial and revolutionary America. Colonists who did not own slaves were still confronted with slavery as well as invited to maintain the system by purchasing slaves or assisting in the capture of runaways. The frequency of these newspaper advertisements suggests just how embedded slavery was in colonial and revolutionary American culture in everyday interactions beyond the printed page.

These advertisements also testify to the experiences of enslaved men, women, and children, though readers must consider that those experiences have been remediated through descriptions offered by slaveholders rather than the slaves themselves. Often unnamed in the advertisements, enslaved men, women, and children were not invisible or unimportant in early America.

These advertisements appeared in colonial American newspapers 250 years ago today.

Mar 24 1770 - Providence Gazette Slavery 1
Providence Gazette (March 24, 1770).

March 23

What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?

Mar 23 - 3:23:1770 Massachusaetts Gazette Extraordinary
Massachusetts-Gazette Extraordinary (March 23, 1770).

“Will be READ, The Beggar’s OPERA.”

An itinerant performer toured New England in the fall of 1769, placing newspaper advertisements to promote his performances in each town he visited before disappearing from view in the public prints for several months.  He first advertised in Providence Gazette on September 16, then in the Boston Chronicle and the Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter on September 28, followed by the Essex Gazette on October 10, and, finally, the New-Hampshire Gazette on November 3.  Near the end of March 1770, he reappeared in Boston for a performance advertised in an extraordinary issue of the Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter.  The performer never gave his name in any of his newspaper notices, instead describing himself as “a Person who has Read and Sung in most of the great Towns in America.”

He updated his repertoire as he moved from town to town, though the Beggar’s Opera was one of his favorites to adapt into a one-man show.  He had previously performed it in Boston, so he may have expected to attract interest in an encore performance rather than present new material.  For those unaware of how one performer could stage the entire Beggar’s Opera, he explained that he “personates all the Charatcers, and enters into the different Humours, or Passions, as they change from one to another throughout the Opera.”  He enticed his prospective audience by promising to sing sixty-nine songs throughout the course of the evening.  This was a spectacle to be seen!

In addition to newspaper advertisements, the unnamed performer likely relied on others means of publicizing his shows.  He may have posted broadsides around town or distributed handbills, though such items were even more ephemeral than newspapers and thus less likely to survive for later generations to examine.  Consider that his advertisement for a performance on Friday, March 23 appeared in an extraordinary issue of the Massachusetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter published that very day.  Richard Draper did not usually distribute his newspaper on Fridays, but happened to publish a two-page supplement on March 23.  Without it, notice of the itinerant performer’s show that evening would not have been presented to prospective audiences in any of Boston’s several newspapers, suggesting that he made other arrangements to promote it in advance.  The newspaper notice instructed that “TICKETS for admissions [were] to be had at Green & Russell’s Printing Office, and at the Bunch of Grapes in King-Street.”  At the very least, he may have posted broadsides at those two busy hubs for exchanging information.

Slavery Advertisements Published March 23, 1770

The Slavery Adverts 250 Project chronicles the role of newspaper advertising in perpetuating slavery in the era of the American Revolution. The project seeks to reveal the ubiquity of slavery in eighteenth-century life from New England to Georgia by republishing advertisements for slaves – for sale, wanted to purchase, runaways, captured fugitives – in daily digests on this site as well as in real time via the @SlaveAdverts250 Twitter feed, utilizing twenty-first-century media to stand in for the print media of the eighteenth century.

The project aims to provide modern audiences with a sense of just how often colonists encountered these advertisements in their daily lives. Enslaved men, women, and children appeared in print somewhere in the colonies almost every single day. Those advertisements served as a constant backdrop for social, cultural, economic, and political life in colonial and revolutionary America. Colonists who did not own slaves were still confronted with slavery as well as invited to maintain the system by purchasing slaves or assisting in the capture of runaways. The frequency of these newspaper advertisements suggests just how embedded slavery was in colonial and revolutionary American culture in everyday interactions beyond the printed page.

These advertisements also testify to the experiences of enslaved men, women, and children, though readers must consider that those experiences have been remediated through descriptions offered by slaveholders rather than the slaves themselves. Often unnamed in the advertisements, enslaved men, women, and children were not invisible or unimportant in early America.

These advertisements appeared in colonial American newspapers 250 years ago today.

Mar 23 1770 - Massachusaetts Gazette and Boston Weekly News-Letter Extraordinary Supplement 1
Massachusetts-Gazette Extraordinary [Draper] (March 23, 1770).

March 22, 1770

What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?

Mar 22 - 3:22:1770 Pennsylvania Journal
Pennsylvania Journal (March 22, 1770).

My customers are therefore requested to be upon their guard against such deceptions.”

Counterfeit hams!  In an advertisement that ran in the March 22, 1770, edition of the Pennsylvania Journal, Joseph Borden warned consumers against purchasing hams that unscrupulous retailers passed off as his product.  That warning comprised half of his advertisement.

Borden opened his notice by advising prospective customers that he supplied the “best Salt-peter’d HAMS, flitch BACON, or JOWELS.”  He did not give his location, only that he raised hogs outside of Philadelphia.  Francis Hopkinson in Front Street accepted orders on his behalf and then communicated them to Borden.  In turn, Borden delivered the hams, bacon, and jowls to customers “as soon as the distance will permit.”

Below his signature, Borden inserted a nota bene to advise consumers to beware of counterfeit hams.  “I have not this year, not any preceeding year,” he asserted, “sent Hams to Philadelphia to be stor’d and retail’d.  Whoever, therefore, offers any for sale as mine, would impose upon the public – my customers are therefore requested to be upon their guard against such deceptions.

Borden’s notice suggests two possibilities.  Others may have been trafficking in counterfeit hams, hoping to benefit from Borden’s reputation.  If that was the case, Borden sought to protect both his reputation and his share of the market by insisting that consumers accept no substitutes.  Alternately, neither Borden nor consumers had been victims of such trickery.  Instead, Borden may have invented the tale of hams being sold as his, intending to enhance his reputation and incite demand by suggesting that his hams were so widely recognized for their quality that his business became a casualty of counterfeiters.  Borden did not actually accuse any merchants and shopkeepers in Philadelphia of attaching his name to their hams, but he did present the scenario for consumers to contemplate.

Whether or not counterfeit hams were circulating in Philadelphia in the late 1760s and early 1770s, Borden apparently believed that consumers would consider such a scheme plausible.  After all, manufacturers of patent medicines sometimes warned against imitations in their advertisements.  Artisans occasionally did so as well.  Borden followed their lead in declaring that pork was also a product subject to counterfeiting.

Slavery Advertisements Published March 22, 1770

The Slavery Adverts 250 Project chronicles the role of newspaper advertising in perpetuating slavery in the era of the American Revolution. The project seeks to reveal the ubiquity of slavery in eighteenth-century life from New England to Georgia by republishing advertisements for slaves – for sale, wanted to purchase, runaways, captured fugitives – in daily digests on this site as well as in real time via the @SlaveAdverts250 Twitter feed, utilizing twenty-first-century media to stand in for the print media of the eighteenth century.

The project aims to provide modern audiences with a sense of just how often colonists encountered these advertisements in their daily lives. Enslaved men, women, and children appeared in print somewhere in the colonies almost every single day. Those advertisements served as a constant backdrop for social, cultural, economic, and political life in colonial and revolutionary America. Colonists who did not own slaves were still confronted with slavery as well as invited to maintain the system by purchasing slaves or assisting in the capture of runaways. The frequency of these newspaper advertisements suggests just how embedded slavery was in colonial and revolutionary American culture in everyday interactions beyond the printed page.

These advertisements also testify to the experiences of enslaved men, women, and children, though readers must consider that those experiences have been remediated through descriptions offered by slaveholders rather than the slaves themselves. Often unnamed in the advertisements, enslaved men, women, and children were not invisible or unimportant in early America.

These advertisements appeared in colonial American newspapers 250 years ago today.

Mar 22 1770 - Maryland Gazette Slavery 1
Maryland Gazette (March 22, 1770).

**********

Mar 22 1770 - Maryland Gazette Slavery 2
Maryland Gazette (March 22, 1770).

**********

Mar 22 1770 - Maryland Gazette Slavery 3
Maryland Gazette (March 22, 1770).

**********

Mar 22 1770 - Maryland Gazette Slavery 4
Maryland Gazette (March 22, 1770).

**********

Mar 22 1770 - Maryland Gazette Slavery 5
Maryland Gazette (March 22, 1770).

**********

Mar 22 1770 - New-York Journal Slavery 1
New-York Journal (March 22, 1770).

**********

Mar 22 1770 - Pennsylvania Gazette Slavery 1
Pennsylvania Gazette (March 22, 1770).

**********

Mar 22 1770 - Pennsylvania Journal Slavery 1
Pennsylvania Journal (March 22, 1770).

**********

Mar 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Purdie & Dixon Slavery 1
Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (March 22, 1770).

**********

Mar 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Purdie & Dixon Slavery 2
Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (March 22, 1770).

**********

Mar 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Purdie & Dixon Slavery 3
Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (March 22, 1770).

**********

Mar 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Purdie & Dixon Slavery 4
Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (March 22, 1770).

**********

Mar 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Purdie & Dixon Slavery 5
Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (March 22, 1770).

**********

Mar 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Purdie & Dixon Slavery 6
Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (March 22, 1770).

**********

Mar 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Purdie & Dixon Slavery 7
Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (March 22, 1770).

**********

Mar 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Purdie & Dixon Slavery 8
Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (March 22, 1770).

**********

Mar 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Purdie & Dixon Slavery 9
Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon] (March 22, 1770).

**********

Mar 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 1
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (March 22, 1770).

**********

Mar 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 2
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (March 22, 1770).

**********

Mar 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 3
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (March 22, 1770).

**********

Mar 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Rind Slavery 4
Virginia Gazette [Rind] (March 22, 1770).

**********

Mar 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Supplement Rind Slavery 1
Supplement to the Virginia Gazette [Rind] (March 22, 1770).

**********

Mar 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Supplement Rind Slavery 2
Supplement to the Virginia Gazette [Rind] (March 22, 1770).

**********

Mar 22 1770 - Virginia Gazette Supplement Rind Slavery 3
Supplement to the Virginia Gazette [Rind] (March 22, 1770).

March 21

What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?

Mar 21 - 3:21:1770 Georgia Gazette
Georgia Gazette (March 21, 1770).

“I forewarn the masters of vessels from carrying him off.”

When “A NEGROE FELLOW, named SAM,” made his escape, James Lucena placed an advertisement in the Georgia Gazette to enlist readers throughout the colony in recovering the man he considered his property.  His notice followed a standard format, one familiar from newspapers published not only in Georgia but throughout British mainland North America.  He stated that Sam was “about 22 years old” and “speaks very good English.”  Lucena offered a physical description, noting that Sam was “about 5 feet 6 inches” and had ritual scars or “country marks on each side of his face this |||.”  He also offered a description of the clothing Sam wore when he escaped: “a dark grey cloth double breasted waistcoat and a white negroe cloth under jacket, a pair of green negroe cloth long trowsers, and a round sailor’s cap.”  He may have considered additional details unnecessary since Sam was “well known in and about Savannah.”  All of these details encouraged readers to take special note of the physical characteristics, clothing, and even speech of Black men they encountered.

Lucena was just as concerned about accomplices who aided Sam, especially “masters of vessels” who might depart the port of Savannah and transport Sam far away from Georgia and far beyond Lucena’s ability to force Sam back into bondage.  Lucena appended a nota bene to the conclusion of his advertisement, asserting that “Said negroe is suspected to be concealed on board some vessel.”  Sam could have hidden on board unknown to any of the crew, but Lucena suggested that he received assistance from sailors or even officers.  Mariners throughout the eighteenth-century Atlantic world were an exceptionally egalitarian community, often suspected of providing assistance to enslaved men in their efforts to escape.  Lucena warned that anyone who aided Sam “may depend on being prosecuted to the utmost rigour of the law.”  Like other colonies, Georgia enacted statutes to punish both enslaved men and women who escaped and anyone who “concealed,” harbored, or otherwise assisted them.  Lucena’s advertisement encouraged surveillance of Black men, but it also called for scrutiny of mariners and anyone who might be suspected of being sympathetic to Sam and others who seized their liberty.

Slavery Advertisements Published March 21, 1770

The Slavery Adverts 250 Project chronicles the role of newspaper advertising in perpetuating slavery in the era of the American Revolution. The project seeks to reveal the ubiquity of slavery in eighteenth-century life from New England to Georgia by republishing advertisements for slaves – for sale, wanted to purchase, runaways, captured fugitives – in daily digests on this site as well as in real time via the @SlaveAdverts250 Twitter feed, utilizing twenty-first-century media to stand in for the print media of the eighteenth century.

The project aims to provide modern audiences with a sense of just how often colonists encountered these advertisements in their daily lives. Enslaved men, women, and children appeared in print somewhere in the colonies almost every single day. Those advertisements served as a constant backdrop for social, cultural, economic, and political life in colonial and revolutionary America. Colonists who did not own slaves were still confronted with slavery as well as invited to maintain the system by purchasing slaves or assisting in the capture of runaways. The frequency of these newspaper advertisements suggests just how embedded slavery was in colonial and revolutionary American culture in everyday interactions beyond the printed page.

These advertisements also testify to the experiences of enslaved men, women, and children, though readers must consider that those experiences have been remediated through descriptions offered by slaveholders rather than the slaves themselves. Often unnamed in the advertisements, enslaved men, women, and children were not invisible or unimportant in early America.

These advertisements appeared in colonial American newspapers 250 years ago today.

Mar 21 1770 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 1
Georgia Gazette (March 21, 1770).

**********

Mar 21 1770 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 2
Georgia Gazette (March 21, 1770).

**********

Mar 21 1770 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 3
Georgia Gazette (March 21, 1770).

**********

Mar 21 1770 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 4
Georgia Gazette (March 21, 1770).

**********

Mar 21 1770 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 5
Georgia Gazette (March 21, 1770).

**********

Mar 21 1770 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 6
Georgia Gazette (March 21, 1770).

**********

Mar 21 1770 - Georgia Gazette Slavery 7
Georgia Gazette (March 21, 1770).